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Medicine and drugs to help you refine your essence?

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  • #31
    Huh, this is a necro, weird. This showed up on the front page for me for some reason and I didn't take a second look at the post dates, sorry.

    Exalted Whose Name is Carved in Leaves of Jade

    Senator of the Greater Chamber


    • #32
      Originally posted by Mizu View Post
      Huh, this is a necro, weird. This showed up on the front page for me for some reason and I didn't take a second look at the post dates, sorry.
      There was a spambot posting yesterday, it probably brought it to the front.



      • #33
        Well, since it's here:

        Dragon Apotheosis Pill Artifact ••••

        High Alchemy was a form of First Age artifice that blended the mundane apothecary art with supernatural insights. By arcane processes, it produced many marvelous forms of medicines and strange materials. Alas, with the burning of the Great Library of Jarna, the last vestiges of this art have left the world of man.

        These pills require the blood or tears of a lesser elemental dragon and a shocking amount of jade, which is distilled into a liquid form that is then solidified by powders and dusts. Each pill is aligned strictly to one of the five elements based upon its ingredients. When anyone other than an elemental of the appropriate type, or a dragonblooded of the appropriate aspect eats one such pill, they are immediately strange moods and passions as their elemental energies are set into turmoil. This typically passes within a week.

        However, for others this medicinal can provide the following benefits:
        • An elemental begins to grow in size over the course of the scene. At the end of the current scene, they attain Legendary size and their permanent Essence becomes 6 if it was lower. They take on draconic traits and gain some new power that represents their increased elemental insight, such as being able to sing gemstones from the earth or redirect the flow of the tides in a vast area. After 2-3 scenes like this, the ST chooses: They either complete their transformation and become true lesser elemental dragons, or they expend all of their elemental essence at once and collapse into a Essence 1 elemental of their type. Either way, they retain all of their memories of the events.
        • A dragonblooded begins to course with raw elemental power. They are wreathed in elemental energy as bright as a bonfire and as deadly as their anima flux. They are constantly in the elemental aura of their aspect and are unable to change. However, while in this state, they reduce training times for all charms of their element by half, as well as the training time for their element's immaculate style. They may also reduce the training time for any other spell, evocation or charm the group agrees aligns with their element. If they reach a new tier of essence while under this effect, they attain it instantly and effortlessly. This effect ends after a week. The dragonblooded may tap the collected elemental essence to pay for the anima cost of charms or other effects; and, the writing elemental energy dissipates after providing three levels of anima.

        Should someone recreate the recipe for this lost medicine, a single project produces five such pills of the appropriate element.

        It is believed that roughly 32 such pills, of varying elements, still exist in the world- for the products of High Alchemy are utterly imperishable until consumed.


        • #34
          Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
          Not quite what I was thinking of. Some of the purposes these medicines serve as a plot device (which is why so many stories use them) include:

          1. Since everyone who uses Essence wants them, they become a major resource everyone fights over.

          2. Since control over them and access to them helps with stable growth, they become a factor in reinforcing the control of powerful families, institutions, and even empires.

          3. They attach an additional concrete cost to trying to raise your power to extremely high levels.

          4. They make supernatural worlds resemble ours a bit more because it means that wealth and patronage from wealthy people helps you get to the top of the pyramid. This is useful when you want to tell stories that resonate with readers.

          Basically, when an elder DB retreats to try and raise their essence, do they bring a bunch of special drugs and medicines intended to smooth the way?
          If you want just the economic part, you might look into anti-aging drugs and treatments. They fulfill a lot of the same narrative role. Granted, there are some marked differences, the main being that they are not a direct improvement to power, which means finding a cache of them is not going to elevate individual/family's power shortterm. Still:

          1.they are an extremely important resource everyone with power covets (well, everyone covets, but those without power won't generally have chance to obtain)

          2. control over them and access to them helps with stable growth longterm - they are a valuable resource that grants you economical leverage, and, in case of Realm families, let you grow the family further, by both making thhose with real power and influence - the family elders - stay around for longer, and by extending the length of time your dragonblooded live which gives them more chances of providing exalted progeny.

          3. they also attach costs to trying to raise your power to extremely high levels. Not by being a resource consumed to elevate power, like the xianxia pills, but by the simple expediency of giving you more time to develop your powers.

          point 4 is pretty much a direct consequence of 2 and 3, so it is also covered.

          The whole dynamic will look a bit differently (like i said, for one, obtaining a stash of antiaging drugs won't allow for the explosive, short-term improvement, so this kind of narrative element is gone), but many parts can still be retained.

          The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.


          • #35
            I too have considered this and I like the idea. I like the concept but would prefer to avoid of course the metagaming aspect of it. No drinking the 10 Experience Potion type angle. The game I think can fit the concept in it. The Yennin may be produced by something similar enough to a fancy pill as it is described as a formula. The best thing is that it doesn't even have to necessarily work at all to fit into the system. When you are talking about things like personal growth and enlightenment so long as the drugs aren't a pop a pill raise your essence situation there is wiggle room. Was it talent or the drugs? If the drugs do nothing but a group used them and happened to have talented Dragonblooded get produced for a while as a coincidence would people assume it works? If they do work how much does that compare to just having good teachers and equipment? How does that idea clash or fit with the idea of Immaculate Monks who abstain from things as an attempt at spiritual cultivation? Could you also waste them and what is the danger to its users? Like PCs are treated as special prodigies, able to achieve in little time what NPCs often take decades or centuries to reach. If you already have to be a prodigy to get the most out of this stuff does it really change anything?

            There are also I think other ways to include this idea safely. Like would a draught that people took and its only effect was that you needed less experience points to reach a certain level of essence change things that much? Like how much different is to be a 200 xp Essence 4 vs a 150 xp Essence 4. What about drugs that play with the time needed in meditation to improve things? While it isn't treated as a hard mechanical rule the idea still remains that you need to spend time at it. If you are really good a few days of work will see you boost that essence. Others will spend weeks or months at it. Sometimes years. If one family has a resource which keeps their DBs to only needing a couple weeks of meditation over months that is an edge sure but it isn't going to play or matter in any in the moment scene. One extra month of work out of someone over 20 years?

            And rambling really but yeah. I think the idea can easily fit into the Exalted setting without necessarily disrupting anything. Major well off families still have their edge, prodigies still break expectations, and with strange wonders around Creation any group could easily have access to it without it needing to be the Realm. Also...actually that is going to send me to another thread I think.

   I play a lot of videogames.


            • #36
              The Twice-Striking Lightning Prism (greater hearthstone, corebook page 605) let's you count your Essence score as 1 higher for the purpose of Charm calculations when supporting a Defining Intimacy.

              I'd be okay with a drug that did that for a scene.

              Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.


              • #37
                If only there were that many Charm effects that made having one more essence level a distinct difference! Outside the pre-requisites, of course. There is one hearthstone that allows one to learn and use a charm one essence level higher - that one is pretty great!

                So why not make it that you can learn and use one charm on a higher essence level, as long as you keep taking your medicine regularly (and keep your meditation checks rolling)? An ambitious character could get to have a whole pharmacopeia to sustain a handful of powerful charms.